B&N May Spin Off Nook Seems to be a sign that company is struggling against Kindle By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Jan 5, 2012 12:48 PM CST 6 comments Comments In this Nov. 7, 2011, file photo provided by Barnes & Noble a demonstrator holds the new Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet. (AP Photo/Barnes & Noble, Jim Sulley, File) (Newser) – Trouble in Nook-ville? Barnes & Noble shares lost about a quarter of their value this morning on the surprising news that the company might spin off its Nook e-reader. B&N has poured a ton of money into the e-reader business, but the news suggests it's losing the arms race to Amazon, with its deeper pockets and mighty Kindle, reports Reuters. Overall Nook sales were up 70% in the last nine weeks of the year, but sales of the basic model—the $99 Nook Simple Touch—fell short over the holidays. B&N lowered the yearly sales forecast for Nooks from $1.8 billion to $1.5 billion. CEO William Lynch put the potential move in a positive light, telling the AP that the company wants to "unlock value and shine a bright light on that business." One analyst at Michael Norris voices a common skeptical refrain: "Separating Nook from the Barnes & Noble brand would be a huge mistake. A lot of people who buy e-books buy physical books as well. Do they really want to tamper with that kind of marriage?"